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Tier 2 Firm (S&/EYP) London vs MBB London

London MBB Middle East tier2
New answer on Nov 21, 2022
6 Answers
1.2 k Views
Anonymous C asked on Nov 20, 2022

Hi all,

wanted some advice as I have offers from both S&/EYP in London (where I am based) and two MBB officers in Dubai. I'm not too certain on what to choose. 

Obviously Id go with MBB for the prestige and career boosting potential it carries (+more likely sponsored MBA) but my friends + partner are all in London. I also heard WLB in ME can be very poor whereas my mates in tier 2 firms say they go home at 6/7pm most of the time. 

I dont care too much about pay but would like some more context about the exit opportunities and how my career potential would change if I decide not to go to MBB.

Is it easy to transfer offices within MBB (say Dubai → London or elsewhere in Western Europe) ? What about from a tier 2→ MBB in London.

 

Any help is much appreciated!

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Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 20, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 300 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

In terms of getting into MBB London:

  • It is likely easier to move from MBB ME to MBB London; than it is to move from a Tier 2 firm to MBB London. The reason for this is that you would need to get into MBB all over again moving from Tier 2 - and it's always easier when you get a foot in the door
  • That being said, it will likely take at least a year to be able to transfer from the ME to London - and it's not a given that you're able to transfer. To transfer you need to find a couple of sponsors in the London office who will vouch for you; the ME office needs to let you go and the London office needs to have space for you
  • Also, the WL balance in the London office isn't going to be substantially different to that of MBB in the ME. I'm also not sure that the tier 2 firms have substantially better lifestyle.

If you decide that you want to prioritise being in London over moving to the ME, you can call the ME office and say that something personal has come up and you're not able to move to the ME, but you still want to be with the firm. Sometimes they're able to transfer your offer before you start. To make this work you'll also need to know the people in the London office, and so you need to reach out to them. I don't recommend doing this though unless you're happy to give up the ME offer as you don't want to burn bridges. 

Remember, life is much more than just your job. It's entirely appropriate to decide that you don't want to move. 

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Anonymous C on Nov 21, 2022

When you say needing to know someone from the MBB London office, would this need to be someone higher up eg partner?

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 21, 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First of all, you should negotiate!

Secondly, this is a really hard choice but just remember this is an amazing choice to have (no matter what, remind yourself how ecstatic you would be if you had just one offer).

Third, trust your gut.

Fourth, figure out your values (what you want most) and do that.

Here are some (very general) points:

  1. Transferring w/ MBB is easier than with Tier 2
  2. Transferring from Europe to Middle East will be easier than the other way around
  3. Work life balance varies across firms and regions…careful here…many people I know in the UK in consulting do not have a chill worklife balance…many people I know in Tier 2s often do not have a chill worklife balance…but it all depends… 
Upvotes
Michael
Expert
updated an answer on Nov 20, 2022
London strategy consulting | Ex-Arthur D. Little |Co-lead London office recruitment team for 3+ years

First of all, congrats for your offers! Your position is a very good place to be.

Needless to say that no one here can make the decision for you, however I think what you choose will depend on what you want and value more.

Do you want a change in lifestyle, live somewhere else and experience a new culture? This for me would be the key question, together with whether I plan to do an MBA or not. As the latter will also influence where you will end up living at some point. Everything else is possible to sort afterwards. Let me explain, I have very close friends that have started their careers in Dubai in Tier 2, moved to MBB in Dubai, pursued a sponsored MBA in the US and now pursuing an internship there. I have other friends which instead started off in MBB in Dubai and decided to come back after 2 years in London, they either decided to transfer office or pursue industry after deciding consulting wasn’t for them.

Finally, if you want to and have the skills, you can always move to MBB 1,2, 3 years in the job either from Tier 2 but also Tier 3, for example I have few friends that got into MBB London after 1-2 year experience in boutique firms. 

In summary, I would consider your partner and current friends, your desire to experience new things and pursue an MBA and the implications that these choices could have on your life in the next 2-3 years. After having clarified those, your career choices should just support your objective in my opinion and not the other way around. 

Just a note on ME vs. London, I think the former involves more frequent travel particular in Saudi and other close markets and several key projects are inevitably public sector focused (or sponsored), working hours I would say are comparable, although ME I believe has more top-down / hierarchical work environment than that in London based on my project experience there.

Hope it helps!

(edited)

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Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 21, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & BCG Project leader

Hi there, 

if you are thinking in exit opportunities, MBB is probably a better choice because:

1. MBB is a diamond name on your CV

2. Steep learning curve (problem solving, dealing with C levels, commercial excellence etc.)

3. Amazing networking access including becoming alumni with its advantages

4. MBB can actually secure you a job

Good luck!

Lucie

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Rushabh
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 21, 2022
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant

Hello,

Congratulations on the offers! Here are my thoughts:

1- Work-life balance: London is SLIGHTLY better than Dubai, not significantly. This again varies a lot per firm. Tier 1 WLB in Dubai is much better than Tier 2 WLB in Dubai.

2- Transfers: I would say it takes a minimum of 18-24 months to initiate a transfer from the Middle East. There is a huge demand for work in ME and on the contrary there is a huge supply of talent in London, thus transfers to London will not be as smooth as you think.

I have some specific insights per firm that I can offer - message me personally if you want to know more!

All the best!

Rushabh

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Anonymous replied on Nov 20, 2022

Hi congrats. It’s a good dilemma to have. Have you talked to the recruiting teams at MBB to potentially consider you for London offices. Since you have offer from not one but two of the MBB firms you have a potential leverage as well to bring up. Message me offline and Happy to provide you a perspective in general on the working style and culture in ME Consulting. 

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Anonymous C on Nov 20, 2022

thank you! dmed

(edited)

Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 300 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad
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